ID Tags Venture Is Launched | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: February 28, 2008

ID Tags Venture Is Launched

German companies seek to develop flexible tags to replace bar codes
Department: Business

The German companies BASF, Evonik Industries, PolyIC, Siemens, and Altana subsidiary Elantas Beck have launched an alliance to develop high-performance printable radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. Called MaDriX, the project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF).

The project's goal is to employ new materials, such as electrically conductive and semiconducting plastics, in high-throughput printing processes. RFID tags made in this way, the partners predict, would be less expensive than the current generation of RFID tags, which contain silicon chips, and are thus usable in consumer goods as replacements for printed bar codes.

PolyIC will lead the three-year joint project, which will involve total investments of roughly $22 million; BMBF will contribute just over half of this amount. The German Aerospace Center is the project sponsor.

PolyIC is involved in component characterization, process development, and setting up of demonstrators. BASF, Evonik, and Elantas Beck will supply new materials for semiconductors and circuit insulators. Siemens is developing real-time inspection protocols for quality control in the printing process. A number of universities and research institutes are also involved in the MaDriX project.

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